A move to mindful shopping has American consumers favoring small, local stores and those owned by Black merchants, women and other minorities, according to the Wednesday (Nov. 17) results of a new spending survey by Mastercard.
According to a Harris Poll on behalf of Mastercard conducted from Oct. 8-13, three-quarters of the 2,017 people surveyed said they planned to shop more consciously and spend at smaller, minority-owned stores. Some 77 percent said they planned to shop local.
The findings, supplemented by the October Mastercard SpendingPulse analysis, show that shopping amid the coronavirus pandemic is prompting people to favor stores that align with their own values.
“While the holidays may look different this year, one thing is clear — Americans are shopping with a different perspective,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, president, U.S. issuers, Mastercard.
She added that people have embraced online shopping and digital payments, “whether they’re tapping their cards in-store or leveraging Click to Pay online.”
The Mastercard SpendingPulse analyzed 20 of the largest metropolitan areas — including Atlanta, Houston and Orlando — where total retail sales grew 4.1 percent in October, excluding automobiles.
“City centers and Main Streets have long been the lifeblood of commerce in the United States, with bright lights and shop windows hallmarks of holidays past,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Incorporated.
“While the retail landscape looks different this year, we're once again seeing the amazing resilience of the American consumer – and the businesses who serve them. October numbers show that early promotions are paying off as consumers get a jump on their holiday shopping,” he added.
A March PYMNTS study measured the pandemic’s economic impact on the nearly 29 million U.S. small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). It found that SMBs are five times more likely than bigger businesses to have experienced a decline in revenue in 2020.
September talks of a $1.5 trillion stimulus funding round to boost the pandemic-ravaged economy are still in limbo.
PYMNTS' research in October showed that COVID-19 has altered people’s spending habits, something that is expected to stick post-pandemic.
The crisis has led to consumers paying down their credit card balances to the lowest levels in three years. This is not expected to push Americans to buy more during the holiday shopping season, since over 80 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.